The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that, in the absence of demand management and suitable investment, the total cost of urban congestion in Australia could increase from $13.7 billion in 2011 to $53.3 billion (2011 prices) in 2031. Although its root causes vary, it is a widespread problem across multiple corridors in Australian cities.
Addressing these problems will require multiple investments that are focused on productivity enhancing network optimisation, as well as continued investment in new capacity.
A Network Optimisation Program for roads would focus on addressing congestion on urban road networks with comparatively high public transport and freight use. These works could use data and technology to improve network operations by, for example, optimising traffic flow through intersection treatments, traffic-light sequencing, clearways and incident management.
The initiative would build on existing work being undertaken in this field to identify and prioritise a program of works nationally to help maximise the existing productive capacity of the road network, with a focus on urban motorways, major urban arterials and access to central business districts. These works could delay the need for some large-scale investments.
Appendix C provides a list of submissions received by Infrastructure Australia in relation to this program initiative.
This initiative was originally included on the Infrastructure Priority List under the combined Network Optimisation Program initiative and was subsequently separated in 2018.
Proponent(s) to be identified.